Well, this should be... interesting.
Vanderbilt joins the SoCon Saturday festivities with East Tennessee State, a 3-8 team that competes in the FCS Southern Conference, coming to Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday afternoon for what can only be properly described as “oh God, please don’t let us lose to this team.” East Tennessee State is coached by Randy Sanders, best known as the former Tennessee quarterback and longtime offensive coordinator who was relieved of his duties after the 2005 season, when in what I’m sure was a total coincidence Vanderbilt ended a 22-game losing streak against Tennessee.
You know, because no coach has ever been fired after losing to Vanderbilt. Never.
Anyway, the real story here is Vanderbilt, which announced earlier this week that Derek Mason will coach the team in 2020, in spite of a 26-46 overall record and a 2-8 record this season, and several consecutive performances that can be charitably described as “godawful.” So the question for our writing staff is: could Vanderbilt actually lose this game?
No, Vanderbilt won’t lose to ETSU, because the talent gap between the two teams is that large. Put differently, ETSU is currently ranked 195th in Sagarin, or 57 spots below UNLV, a team that Vanderbilt definitely did not play this football season and you can’t convince me otherwise.
So, yeah. But this isn’t going to be pretty. This game will be stupidly close for a long time and Vanderbilt will at least make us think they might lose this, but they won’t.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 27, ETSU 17
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I’m going to hate myself for this, but why on earth is MISSOURI favored over Tennessee (+4)? Have the oddsmakers seen Missouri play football over the last month?
Andrew VU ‘04
It’s a no from me, as well. To borrow a line from Nick Flynn, every day this season feels like Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Still, we will overwhelm ETSU with size and Ke’Shawn will finally get the chance to pad his stats. It will be otherwise unwatchable.
Remember, we get at least another year of this bullshit due to the administration’s unwillingness to pay a $10 million buyout.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 38, ETSU 13
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I’m with Tom on this one, as well. The Chuggers will win Saturday’s Big XII-SEC Showdown. Puke.
This game is going to suck. The weather is going to suck. The stadium will be empty for senior night (afternoon?). Just please do not lose. Please. Ke’Shawn alone probably does enough to win, thankfully.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 27, ETSU 13
The SEC Upset Pick of the Week: There are only 3 games involving SEC teams not playing an FCS opponent. Arkansas has no chance against LSU. A&M is not going to beat Georgia. Tennessee is probably going to beat Missouri senseless because the Yankee Tigers have been a steaming pile of poo for about a month. Ya know, since we beat them.